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Celtic 0-3 Real Madrid: Match Review

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With four wins in as many league games, Real Madrid’s season was off to the perfect start ahead of the Champions League opener.

Los Blancos were pitted against Celtic in their first game of the new competition, with the game scheduled to take place in Glasgow.

Postecoglou’s side were one of the most in-form sides in Europe ahead of the midweek game. They won their last match by a margin of four goals and scored a whopping 13 goals in their last two games. Moreover, they were unbeaten across all competitions for close to five months.

On the night, Ancelotti made two changes to the side that started against Real Betis. Federico Valverde replaced Rodrygo Goes on the right wing, while Toni Kroos came in for Eduardo Camavinga.

Celtic have been known for their attacking aptitude this season and did not hold back when given a chance against the Champions of Europe. In the very first minute, Giakoumakis worked the ball to Abada whose shot was painfully close to goal.

The pressure on Real Madrid’s goal intensified in the next 20 minutes with the hosts putting in a spectacular shift. Abada was once again at the centre of action in the 13th minute when he missed the chance to bury Jota’s cross.

One of the biggest chances in the first half came in minute 21. The move began with Giakoumakis finding McGregor at the edge of the area with a well-worked pass. The midfielder struck the ball firmly, but could only rattle the woodwork.

Problems for Real Madrid compounded at the half-hour mark when Karim Benzema was forced off the field through injury. The Frenchman could not continue after sustaining a blow on his knee and Eden Hazard took his place.

It was only in the latter part of the second half that Real Madrid took charge of the game. Eden Hazard had a chance in the 41st minute and Vinicius Jr failed to score a 1v1 just minutes later. As half-time neared, the momentum slowly but surely shifted.

Antonio Rudiger replaced Eder Militao for the second half. The new period began in a similar fashion for Real Madrid as they immediately fell under pressure, giving Maeda an opening to score. However, the forward’s shot was tame.

Los Blancos found some rhythm by the 50-minute mark and a goal was not too far away. As the clock struck 56, Vinicius Jr completed a lethal counter-attack to give Real Madrid the lead. The goal was only made possible because of Federico Valverde’s blistering run and a perfect pass at the feet of the Brazilian sensation who did not miss.

Less than five minutes later, their lead doubled. After receiving a loose ball in the box, the club legend cut back to create space for himself. With the goal at his mercy, he calmly fired it into the back of the net with the outside of his boot.

The final nail in the coffin for Celtic, it seems, was Eden Hazard’s goal in minute 77. Toni Kroos began the attack with a precise aerial pass to Daniel Carvajal. The full-back cushioned the ball and put it across the face of the goal for Hazard to tap in.

The 15 minutes that followed saw Celtic push for a consolation goal, but Los Blancos’ compact lines and organised defence handled the situation.

With this win, the men in white get their UCL campaign off to a perfect start despite not putting up their best performance. They next take on Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu at the weekend.

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Three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Valencia

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Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

For all the institutional and sporting catastrophes Valencia suffer from, they put up a resilient show against Real Madrid last month and held them to a draw in the semifinals of the Spanish Super Cup.

Having fired Gennaro Gattuso less than 48 hours ago, Los Che will be under the command of an interim coach at Santiago Bernabeu in the hope of repeating their feat from Saudi Arabia.

After all, they are struggling this season with just 20 points in 18 league appearances.

Valencia may not be the top team it used to be a couple of seasons ago, but there is a fighting spirit to the squad that makes them special.

As Real Madrid looks to make amends for their dropped points against La Real, some important considerations cross the manager’s mind regarding the clash against Los Che.

Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of Real Madrid vs Valencia.

1. More names at Ancelotti’s disposal

Real Madrid’s long injury list has been a thorn in Carlo Ancelotti’s feet for a long time now. While the manager has had close to five players unavailable through fitness concerns, two names were considered irreplaceable.

Daniel Carvajal is the first on that list. The Spanish International’s presence gave the club hope after Lucas Vazquez’s injury last month, but almost as if planned, the 30-year-old immediately suffered a blow in training and was forced to sit out.

For four games, Ancelotti was thus forced to field Nacho Fernandez as his right-back. The centre-back did a good job at covering out of position, however, will be pushed back to the bench on Thursday as Los Blancos celebrate the return of Carvajal.

The defender is not the only one making his way back, as Aurelien Tchouameni also received the medical all-clear earlier this week.

The French pivot hobbled off an hour into Real Madrid’s league clash against Villarreal in the first week of January and has been sidelined for close to a month.

His absence pushed his coach to try numerous permutations in midfield, but it was finally Eduardo Camavinga who stamped his authority on the position.

With Tchouameni back roaring, his place in the starting lineup seems to be written in stone. One can expect the Frenchman to be deployed alongside Toni Kroos and Dani Ceballos for his return to action on Thursday.

2. Concern shifts from right to left-back

The Merengues will finally have a natural right-back available to play against Valencia midweek. However, that does not signal the end of the Italian tactician’s trouble-riddles period.

Just when one full-back position returned to a state of normalcy, Real Madrid now have a crisis at left-back.

Ferland Mendy picked up a thigh injury earlier this week and will miss the team’s next two months of action at least. To say that this is a big blow to the club’s plans would be an understatement, for Mendy was the only natural left-back available in the squad.

David Alaba would appear to be the best-placed alternative, but the Austrian is ruled out through injury himself. Placed at a lack of options, Ancelotti confirmed in his press conference earlier today that Eduardo Camavinga would play there against Valencia.

The youngster has played in the defensive position earlier but will face the heat going up against Jose Luis Gaya at Santiago Bernabeu.

Given that Valencia’s right flank put up a memorable display when the two teams met last month, one can be certain that Camavinga’s performance can make or break Real Madrid’s night.

3. No margin for error

Less than halfway through the league season, Los Blancos already find themselves five points behind Barcelona. The wide gap is not a consequence of the defending champions’ poor form but the sheer consistency of Xavi Hernandez’s men, who cannot stop winning.

Having won the Supercopa de Espana last month, the Catalans are currently riding high on confidence. With their season heading from strength to strength, Real Madrid must hold on and wait for the right opportunity to topple the tables.

The Galacticos‘ draw against Real Sociedad added two points to the gap between the top two sides last week. At this stage, Ancelotti’s men cannot afford any further slip-ups for a larger gap would be too much for the men in white to compensate.

Every game henceforth will be a final for Real Madrid in La Liga. Three points are the bare minimum the club can walk away with from any fixture, and that mission will start from their game against Valencia.

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